Child Welfare Information Gateway released a three-part podcast series dedicated to the importance of engaging fathers in child welfare services. The podcasts share strategies implemented in three of the five state or county agencies that participated in the Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare project (Los Angeles County, CA; Hartford, CT; and Prowers County, CO), which aimed to improve placement stability and permanency outcomes for children by engaging their fathers and paternal relatives.
"Engaging Fathers – Putting Lessons Into Practice, Part 1" features Christine Lau, M.S.W., assistant chief of child welfare, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and Abdul Rahmaan I. Muhammad, L.M.S.W., executive director, My People Clinical Services. The topics discussed in this episode include the benefits of including community partners and fatherhood advocates in Connecticut's improvement team; Connecticut's decision to choose multiple, small strategies rather than a single, large-scale strategy to address father engagement; and lessons learned.
"Engaging Fathers – Putting Lessons Into Practice, Part 2"
features Angela Parks-Pyles, deputy director, contract services, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and Alan-Michael Graves, Ed.D., senior director of learning and capacity building, Good+ Foundation. The topics discussed in this episode include the value of community organizations in Los Angeles County's improvement team; strategies Los Angeles County implemented to change its processes and mindset about the importance of fathers; and the importance of acting "intentionally and unapologetically" to enact meaningful change.
"Engaging Fathers – Putting Lessons Into Practice, Part 3"
features Laine Meyers-Mireles, director, Prowers County Department of Human Services; Courtney Holt-Rogers, adult and family service manager, Prowers County Department of Human Services; and Amy Rosengrants-Smith, therapist, Prowers County Department of Human Services. The topics discussed in this episode include how small child welfare agencies can have more flexibility and innovative capability compared with larger bureaucratic agencies, how child welfare and its partner human services agencies in Prowers County shared collective accountability to engage and involve fathers and paternal families in casework and prevention strategies, and what is needed to spark and maintain culture change around fathers.